Second Thought for the Day – 19 March – Do Not Forget St Joseph!

Second Thought for the Day – 19 March – St Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary

One of the long-standing Follower/Benefactor on Breathing Catholic, who lives in Canada, shared the following with me on St Joseph’s day last yearmany of you will remember that, at that time, I had recently moved from the area in the story to where I live now – AND had never heard about Fr O’Hare there:

Do Not Forget St Joseph!

Father O’Hare, a Missionary in South Africa, relates the following story:

“During my residence of twelve years in Africa, I had charge of a territory as large as all England. From time to time I visited my scattered flock. On one of these tours I lost my way and wandered about, without having any idea whence I came or whither I was going.

No trace of a human being could be seen. It was in the dry season and my thirsty ponies could hardly draw my cart. Eventually I arrived in an unknown valley wherein was located the farm of a Boer Afrikaner. The land was scorched by the heat of the sun but I saw a pond near the house. I presented myself to the farmer, told him my story and requested permission to water my horses. This he permitted.

Then I told him that I was a Catholic Priest. I noticed that he was a Calvinist. ‘Oh,’ said he, ‘that is fortunate – for, in the rear of the house there lies a workman; he is a Catholic. Perhaps you can go to see him.’

I hurried there and found a poor boy with death written on his forehead. When I told him that I was the Catholic Priest from the District of Oudtshoorn, 150 miles away, the sunken and pale man raised himself in his bed and cried out with emotion in a tone of genuine thanks: ‘Oh, St Joseph! I knew you would send me a Priest before my death, who would assist me in my last hour’.

What is that about St. Joseph? I asked inquisitively.

Then the dying man told me the following story: “When I was yet a boy at home, my good and pious mother taught me to say every day, ‘Oh, St. Joseph obtain for me the grace of a happy death.‘ From that day on, I never omitted that prayer a single day. I made my first Holy Communion when ten years old, served Holy Mass until my fifteenth birthday and entered the army when I was twenty-one. The Zulu war brought me to Africa. Before leaving Ireland I went to take leave of my poor old mother in my uniform. When we parted she added: ‘Do not forget the little prayer to St Joseph.’

“The Zulu war ended and my service expired; I received my honourable discharge and stayed in the Colony. The nearest Priest to me lived in Capetown, 500 miles distant. After a time I came to this Dutch farmer and have been here for years . Not long ago, I heard that a Priest was at Oudtshoorn, 150 miles away and although sickly, I went there that I might again approach the Sacraments, go to Confession and receive Holy Communion.” When I arrived at the presbytery, I was told that you had already left on your tour. ‘Yesterday I arrived back here, sick unto death and now you see, today St Joseph sends me a priest!’

I remained overnight with him, prepared him, heard his Confession and the next morning gave him the Holy Viaticum and shortly afterwards anointed him and gave him the last blessing.

A little while later he died and the last prayer that fell from his lips was: ‘St Joseph, obtain for me the grace of a happy death!



Passionate Catholic. Being a Catholic is a way of life - a love affair "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site, which is now using the Traditional Calendar, will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions. This Site is placed under the Patronage of my many favourite Saints and especially, St Paul. "For the Saints are sent to us by God as so many sermons. We do not use them, it is they who move us and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.” Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) This site adheres to the Catholic Church and all her teachings. PLEASE ADVISE ME OF ANY GLARING TYPOS etc - In June 2021 I lost 95% sight in my left eye and sometimes miss errors. Thank you and I pray all those who visit here will be abundantly blessed. Pax et bonum! 🙏

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